Hello Family and friends!!!
First, I am not sure what the news is with our North Korean friends. I've gotten mixed signals here in Hangook (한국). Some people have been pretty nervous--like one of our potential called us last week and told us it was war. WAR! (Except said in a really cute accent where the "w" was completely undecipherable) So there is that and yet I see so many people wandering around on their smart phones that I figure the sky can’t be falling yet. Things are pretty good here in theorient!
And in even greater news~ the waters of baptism have been unleashed this week. So great! I did two baptismal interview this Thursday and then we had two investigators baptized in our ward on Sunday! Such a great week! So many miracles.
The baptisms in Gongju (a nearby city in the zone) were totally out of the blue. On Monday they had no one ready and then they called on Tuesday because two of them wanted to get baptized ASAP. It was such a spiritual experience. One of the people was the sweetest forty year old lady moving to soul. She met the missionaries originally because she wanted to learn English, but she had a lot of sincere gospel interest. She has had a pretty hard life I guess, she was a little guarded, but in the interview we were talking about the gospel and she told me her favorite part of the gospel was repentance and then she bore to me such a heartfelt testimony on the atonement. And this lady has only believed in God for a few months! She said she went to Christian church once with a friend when she was really little, but hasn’t really ever thought about God. So amazing. The interview of the guy was kind of funny because he would only speak English to me and I would speak anything but Korean to him^^ he passed! When I asked him why he wanted to get baptized he said he just felt like God wanted him to be a Mormon and he wanted to follow God so that he could have a happy and successful life! True! So great!
And our baptisms in the ward were such miracles!! So this transfer (past six weeks) Elder Baker and I had the goal of getting two people to enter the waters of baptism. Things were looking pretty good because we had a date for the first week and a pretty solid one for the fourth week. Then out of the blue our friend for the fourth went off the grid. He stopped answering all calls and blocked our number. So sad! But we had faith that God would provide someone prepared and so we hit the streets and met a new guy, Jimmy, in miraculous ways after some really sincere prayer. He progressed really well and met with several members and was loving it. Then without any warning he blocked our number!! We have no idea why! I mean he thought Mormons were weird when he first met us! Everyone does~ So we were pretty bummed but still had faith! So it was week four and we met another new guy, brother 박성현 (Pak Seong Hyun) He is the greatest! He met the sisters on a bus then came to our English class like four weeks ago. He also came out to Church and to a baptismal service but because he was busy he kind of fell through the cracks. We met him with one of our awesome members and he had tons of question because in the weeks since we had met he just devoured the book of Mormon! Like in two weeks he read all of the way through second Nephi and by his interview he told us excitedly that he had finished the small plates of Nephi! Who says that!!? He is so prepare and is such a nice man, about 55 years old. He is so sincere. Like he bore his testimony for ten minutes on the plan of salvation and how he is so glad he now knows the truths he wasnt able to learn in the Presbyterian church. Who does that?!! I love him.
The second baptism was so awesome! It was our good friend Shane Van Buren. Don’t let the name fool you, he is actually from Sri Lanka. He is an 18 year-old that the other elders taught and he is an amazing miracle. His father moved to Korea with him to help him adjust to school and is such a nice guy. Shane was having a hard time spiritually and so his dad hit the streets looking for a church of for his son. He met the missionaries as they were taking out some Costco pizza boxes and the rest is history. I love the lord. It has been a good week this week and I am so glad to be here in Korea, despite all the negative vibes from North Korea. I love you guys and I know the church is true!!
Onward and Upward